3DP Applications

Carbon, University of Wisconsin and Met-L-Flo win AMUG Technical Competition

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has named its Technical Competition winners for 2019. Created in 2014, this competition provides entrants with a forum to showcase unique 3D printing applications and finishing capabilities. It is judged by a panel of five AMUG DINOs (Distinguished Innovator Operators) and has been announced in an exhibition at the AMUG 2019 conference.

Of the 17 entries in the 2019  Technical Competition, three winners were selected this year due to a tie in the Advanced Finishing category.

“The 17 entries in the Technical Competition were amazing in their beauty, innovation, and practicality,” commented Mark Barfoot, Technical Competition coordinator and former president of AMUG.

“Our panel of judges deliberated at length to make the final decision.”

AMUG Technical Competition Advanced Concepts winner

The Advanced Concepts portion of the AMUG Technical Competition was crated for entrants to “push the envelope” for a particular technology or combination of technologies. As stipulated in the official outline for this category “Unique applications, processes, and/or utilization are desired.”

For 2019, the sole winner of the Advanced Concepts category Erika Berg, Head of Application Development at Silicon-valley DLS 3D printing company Carbon. The innovative application that earned Berg, and Carbon, the award, was the digitally 3D printed helmet liner for Riddell’s SpeedFlex Precision Diamond Helmet.

Digital render of the L1 3D printed SpeedFlex Precision Diamond helmet lining. Image via Carbon
Digital render of the L1 3D printed SpeedFlex Precision Diamond helmet lining. Image via Carbon

Launched to showcase the Carbon L1’s larger build volume, Riddell’s helmet liner is a custom-made lattice designed to provide better comfort and energy absorption for NFL players.

According to Riddell R&D Manager Vittorio Bologna the plan with these helmets is to be able to custom-make interior padding for players of all ages, down to the junior league.

“Our judges were impressed by the mass customization aspect of this application and its practical role in improving player safety,” said Barfoot of the accolade.

“Personally, I really applaud the digital tuning aspect, which is something that non-AM technologies simply cannot achieve.”

AMUG Technical Competition Advanced Finishing winners

Created to acknowledge the effort often overlooked in applications, the Advanced Finishing category is an award for the finishers, model makers, painters and others that bring a product to life.

In 2019 Maddie Frank, 3D Printing Specialist at the University of Wisconsin’s Innovation Accelerator Prototyping Center, and Bill Braune, production manager at 3D printing service bureau Met-L-Flo, were named winners of this category for each of their respective projects.

Frank’s entry was a 3D printed electric cello deemed “innovative and elegant” by the AMUG DINO panel. Based on the design of a traditional cello, Frank’s finishing of this 3D printed instrument replicated distressed elements and wood grains of the original design. The piece was also noted for the skill required to work with a challenging, high strength material.

Maddie Frank's 3D printed cello. Photo via AMUG
Maddie Frank’s 3D printed cello. Photo via AMUG

In joint first prize with Frank’s 3D printed cello was Braune’s 30 inch tall Halo Master Chief model.

To create a 3D printed model as true to the videogame as possible, Braune used Pantone color matching in the design’s finish. Carbon DLS technology was used to make all seven pieces of the figure, and dyed, laser sintering powder was added tho the rock base to give texture.

“Seeing Maddie’s and Bill’s entries, I can understand why the judges could not break the tie,” commented Barfoot, “Both presented impeccable works worthy of being called art.”

3D printed Halo Master Chef model. Photo via Melt-L-Flo
3D printed Halo Master Chef model. Photo via Melt-L-Flo

In addition to the esteem of this award, all winners of the Technical Competition receive complimentary entry to AMUG 2020 which will take place from 22 – 26 March next year.

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Featured image shows the Riddell SpeedFlex Precision Diamond helmet with back-lit Precision-Fit lining. Image via Carbon.